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Kenya betting board bans social media gambling adverts and endorsements by celebs

The Betting Licensing and Control Board has released a set of rules to govern the betting industries which includes barring local celebrities endorsing betting firms and TV betting ads restricted to certain times.

The rules, published recently by the Interior Ministry and Betting Licensing and Control Board, have also banned outdoor advertising of gambling, advertising of gambling on all social media platforms and advertising of gambling activities on television and radio between 6 am and 10 pm, reported Nairobi News.

Further, any form of advertisement of gambling must be approved by the betting board and must contain a message about the consequences of gambling. The warning must constitute a third of the actual advertisement. Some of the betting firms that operate in Kenya include, Sportpesa, Betin, Betika, 1xBet, Odibets, and Elitebet.

Acting director of betting board Liti Wambua has told betting and lottery firms to adhere to the new rules by May 30th, 2019. “We wish to remind you that gaming is a demerit good and all demerit goods have the potential to harm the customer with the possibility of leading to addiction as well as some disorder,” Ms. Wambua said in her letter.

This is the latest crackdown on betting firms that have in recent times become more popular. The advent of sports betting has become a way of betting firms to mint money from the youth and pushing for the get rich mentality amongst the youth. Many have decried the increase of the betting culture as it has left numerous youths broke and depressed.

The development comes barely a month after Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’ i ordered the Betting Control and Licensing Board to ensure that betting firms are in compliance with the rules. “To show that we are serious, all betting licenses in the country stand suspended effective July 1, 2019, unless the holders pay all their taxes,” said Matiang’ i at the time.

Professional footballers McDonald Mariga and brother Victor Wanyama, Media personalities Joey Muthengi, Carol Radull, and volleyballer Janet Wanja are among the celebrities who enjoy multi-million shilling endorsement deals with Kenyan based betting companies.

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